Eels steal late win over Roosters
A last-minute try to Parramatta young gun Bevan French following a penalty from the kick-off handed the Roosters a second straight defeat at the Downer NRL Auckland Nines.
An early hamstring strain to centre John Folau put a dampener on the Eels' weekend at the start of the game, but soon after Semi Radradra put a quiet opening game behind him with a sliding run and pass out to rookie fullback French who showed great speed to streak away and score.
With sweeping rain making handling tough for both teams, scoring opportunities were few and far between though Eels winger Vai Toutai was only just denied when he failed to cleanly ground the ball in the corner. But right on the stroke of half-time a brilliant offload from the Roosters' Joseph Manu deceived the Eels and created space for Latrell Mitchell to level up with his second try of the day.
Radradra finally got his name on the score sheet with a typical long-range run down the Eels' left wing. Mitchell denied himself a second when he fumbled after Omar Slaimankhel's long-range run but made amends shortly after with a long-range try of his own to get it back to 10-apiece.
With the clock winding down Braith Anasta stunned the Eels by potting a field goal from in front before the Roosters produced a fundamental error, being ruled offside at the restart, to give the Eels a minute of possession at their line. A beautiful cut-out pass from Corey Norman handed French his second try of the game and the Eels a somewhat lucky 14-11 win.
New Eels recruit Mitch Cornish was happy to get away with a win over his brother Tyler's team - even if Tyler didn't end up taking the field for the Roosters.
"He was a late scratching for the game, which I was filthy about but I'll take the bragging rights," Cornish told NRL.com.
"We're living together now so it makes it easier for us in Sydney. We bounce ideas off one another and we train together which has been unreal. It's been awesome at Parra too, I love the change and I'm learning as much as I can."
Parramatta Eels 14 (French 2, Radradra tries) def Sydney Roosters 11 (Mitchell 2 tries, Anasta field goal)